Carroll Digest

Carroll Digest

September 20, 2002

Union Bridge owes county $31,000, comptroller says

Union Bridge owes the county $31,000 for water lines built along North Main Street more than 10 years ago, the county comptroller told the board of commissioners yesterday.

The town intended to repay the interest-free loan from hook-up fees paid as new homes joined the municipal water system. But, no homes have been built in the area, and the 10-year loan has come due, said Comptroller Gene Curfman. The original terms would have required Union Bridge to begin annual payments of $3,000 starting in November, but town officials have asked for a 10-year extension, meaning the town would make no payments until 2012.

"They have had county money for 10 years," said Commissioner Donald I. Dell. "If we extend, they should start paying interest. Extending would be a goodwill thing to do, but we need dollars for the county, too." The commissioners deferred a decision until they had more information.

Judge acquits officer of driving under influence

A state police lieutenant was found not guilty yesterday in Carroll County Circuit Court on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol a year ago in Hampstead.

Lt. David Allan Barcroft, 45, of Hampstead was arrested by a town police officer about 3 p.m. Sept. 24 on charges that he was seen drinking before he moved his truck from one space to another at the Jiffy Mart parking lot on Main Street. He had been found not guilty in District Court on May 22 on a more serious charge of driving while intoxicated, but guilty of driving under the influence and two traffic offenses.

Barcroft appealed that conviction, which entitled him to a new trial. Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. heard seven hours of testimony during a two-day nonjury trial before acquitting the officer of all charges, said defense attorney Edward M. Ulsch.

Household grease caused sewer line clog

Household grease in a sewer line caused a clog in Hampstead last week that took county crews several hours to repair, a county official said yesterday.

Crews had to break up a clog in an 8-inch pipe full of grease at North Carroll Farms, said Doug Myers, county public works director.

Grease hardens as it cools and can cause backups that cause spills, Myers said. Crews use powerful vacuums to force pressure into the line.

The backup caused sewage to overflow through a manhole on the east side of Route 30.

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